JOY Quilters Talk

Wasn’t it nice of them to put the program in the paper?

Edwin’s Quilt, 2

My quilt lecture to the Joy Quilters went very well, considering I know nothing whatsoever about quilting. They were incredibly kind and welcoming.

I’m really enjoying the quilt project but I’m taking a little bit of a break from it since Christmas is around the corner. There are other things that need to be made for the holidays!

The quilt back. My inspiration is a nebula image from the Hubble telescope.

My sketch for the quilt.


White cotton sateen from
Setacolor paints from Dharma Trading.
Soy wax.

Here’s what I’ve made so far:

When painting panels, always paint opposite sides at the same time in matching pairs – if you want them to match!

Some salt sprinkled on for a little texture effect. I think I prefer a water mister for this as well.

Fabric cut out in wavy panels. Remember, to get them to match, paint them together or in a series, as here.

This will stain concrete. It will pressure wash off.

My helper! I wet the panels down randomly, then just started adding color very loosely. I don’t want to cover all the white.

It’s August here and very hot outside.

The water mister in action! It’s very hot and it needs to be constantly rewet to have the pigments blur.

Building up color. Just paint in the direction of the big shapes, waves, sand and grasses, and it will look perfect. I’m not going for detail here.

Big paintbrush!

Lots of color! Remember, all paints dry lighter in value than when they are wet.

Some negative effects by placing leaves on the wet paint and letting it dry in the sun.

Let it dry completely.

These wavy lines are a real pain to sew together neatly. Lots of ironing and think princess seams!

Before I sewed this together, I let it dry completely and then ironed it to set the paint.

Laying it all out.

Filling in the missing panels.

Painting the missing panels. I want it to get lighter and smaller panels toward the top.

I decided to add a few more darks. The more layers, the more depth, just like any other painting.

More negative painting with grasses. Excellent use of this weed!

I’m using minky for the coral and octopus.

As you can see, you can paint anything.

However, you can’t iron minky.

Very proud boy!

I’m doing the back much simpler, panel wise. Just 3 big straight ones.

I melted soy wax in a small crockpot and splattered it on the fabric as a resist (protects fabric from paint, batik). If you use soy wax, it’s easy to remove. It will dissolve completely in hot soapy water in your washing matching. Just wash it twice to make certain it’s out.

Before painting, let the wax dry completely.

I made a mistake on this one. Obviously, I didn’t want to gunk up my iron, so I tried to just dry it in the very hot sun. The color didn’t set as bright as I would have liked.

I tried using a steamer cleaner, but that didn’t work. Not hot enough. In retrospect, next time I would use a hair dryer to set the pigment.

Oh well.

Just add more and more color, until it’s very dark!

Don’t you think a nebula is appropriate for a boy?

Have fun painting!

Edwin’s Quilt

My mother-in-law, who is the greatest, volunteered me to give a talk on painting fabric to her quilting group. In October. Yes, I’ve known about this for months and she did move the date back for me but, well, life gets busy.

I’ve decided it’s about time to get started on it – the fabric has arrived. A gorgeous white cotton sateen from will be the bulk of the quilt. I’ve never done a quilt. Ever. No clue how.

So I’ve decided to jump right in with this lovely little underwater scene for Edwin. In a queen size. Keep it simple – like I always do!

I’m pretty intimidated by the sheer skill of her quilting group. I’ve been to one of their shows and – wow! Amazing stuff. I’m quite nervous about it.

Seriously, thank goodness the talk is on fabric painting – of which I do have examples and can do very well. Not quilting. A partially finished quilt would be acceptable.

But oh, a finished one would be great! I always like completing a project I’ve been looking forward to!

We shall see!

Cathedral Window Quilt HandBag

My mother in law is a truly wonderful person so I wanted to make her a special Christmas present.

She teaches classes on cathedral window quilting so I decided to create a bag with her grandchildren’s hands in cathedral window squares.

I am not a quilting expert – this is the first quilt squares I have attempted. I’ve found out that it is a very precise, very meticulous craft. More about the time you put into making very precise measurements and ironing than real difficulty.

Might be beyond me to do an entire quilt, in other words…


3/4 yard each of 2 coordinating quilt fabrics
1 yard canvas
1/4 yard white sateen cotton
padding for strap
3 yards cording
1 color thread that matches everything!
7 buttons for feet and square corners
18″ separating zipper
fabric paint
paper plates for paint
1.5 yards1/4″ grosgrain ribbon


3 18″ muslin squares
3 6.25″ x 6.25″ white cotton sateen squares
3 12″ x 18″ fabric sides (includes lining)
12″ x 18″ canvas side
9″ x 18″ fabric pocket
9″ x 18″ canvas
4 4″ x 12″ fabric sides
2 4″ x 12″ canvas sides
2 4″ x 18″ canvas bases
2 4″ x 18″ top piece
2 4″ x 2″ zipper end pieces
2 3″ x 24″ (or desired length) of fabric of strap
1 3″ x 24″ of canvas for strap
several 1.5″ fabric strips for cording

Here’s a link to the excellent cathedral window tutorial I used:

Very clear pictures and instructions.

I modified the measurements based on a hand. I needed a 6″ diagonal for my inner square (you can see it’s squeezed in there). So I started with 18″ for the square – you fold & iron. And repeat. And repeat….

So, as you can see, the hand barely fits in there, but since 18″ is the absolute limit for a bag width to be practical, that’s what I went with. Just follow the instructions in the above link and she’ll get you to this step. I’ve folded under the bottom section (I’ll use that for base padding.)

Get the kids to make neat handprints – not a bad idea to have extra fabric available just in case. Glop some paint on a paper plate, get them to smear the paint around the plate, check to make sure the hand is coated completely and then press it to the fabric once firmly. Iron well once dry.

Pin the handprints into place, then either handsew or machine sew in.

Sew cording into strips. It doesn’t need to be cut on the bias since we’re dealing with straight areas. I like using a foot with a guide to keep it even.

Sew cording on back pocket top, folding canvas over.

Do right side of back pocket, sewing on cording, then trimming with ribbon.

Sew back pocket to fabric and canvas side.

Sew canvas base on back, inserting cording around back.

Sew base canvas on back.

Sew lining. Just connect the sides to the base, using 1/4″ larger seams than used on the outside.

Sew front to base.

Now sew the sides to the front!

Make the 4″ zipper top strips into tubes, turn inside out and sew to zipper sides.

Sew zipper top to lining.

See how much easier the separating make this!

The outside bag is finished.

The completed lining.

Put the lining inside the bag.

Pin or clip all around, folding edges in, and sew.

I added cute button feet – or hands – to the base.

The strap is easy, layer fabric and canvas and put foam padding  in if desired. Sew in a tube, then turn right side out. Triple stitch on both sides.

Sew the canvas ends on the zipper top for a finishing touch. A touch of grosgrain ribbon around the top on the inside and outside also finishes it nicely.

I finished by adding the last handprint square. And a few other random squares handstitched in to pull the piece together. A added more buttons where the corners meet.

And that’s it!